Randpark BlogLatest news from the Randpark Golf Club
Cheap Golf at St Andrews
A ROUND of golf on the iconic Old Course at St Andrews costs 190 pounds in high season which translates to about R3 500, which is a hefty green fee. On top of this a caddie will set you back 50 quid, while a tip of a further 20 pounds is recommended. And, add in a few beers after the round at the Jigger Inn right next to the notorious Road Hole 17th, and you’re looking at R5 000 for the day which is a lot to fork out, especially if you’re hacking.
However you can play the most famous links in the world for as little as eleven rand for 18 holes, but there is an important catch. You see, if you move to the Home of Golf and become a genuine resident of this Royal burgh you can obtain what is known as a Links Ticket. This costs 210 pounds and it enables you to play as much golf as you want on all seven of the courses (six of them right next to each other) in this ancient town within a given year.
Now, if you play a lot of golf – like Randpark member and golf fanatic Tom Buckle who can easily tot up 350 rounds a year – and you play as much as him, then, if my maths is right, you’ll pay just 60 pence a round at St Andrews (which translates to about eleven rand!). How good is that!
Apart from the Old Course, there are three other championship courses in St Andrews – the New Course (not so new as it was established in 1895), a classic links and a first class experience in its own right, the tough Jubilee (more challenging than the Old, according to the locals) and the Castle course which is technically just outside the town.
Then there’s the character-full Eden – created by internationally renowned designer Harry S Colt in 1914, the Strathtyrum which is considerably shorter than its neighbours but requiring plenty of accuracy, and the nine-hole Balgove which is an excellent introduction to links golf.
So that’s the Links Ticket for you. It’s like golfing heaven. You can do two rounds in a day if you want. But you can’t – like a bunch of Americans do – buy a house in St Andrews and not stay in it permanently. You need to be a permanent resident to qualify for a Links Ticket, or work for the Links Trust. So, any takers?
Incidentally, there are no tough security measures for playing golf at St Andrews, no gates, no high walls, no fences. The first tee on the Old Course is like right in town, with every man and his dog watching you, as is the 18th green. In fact, the six courses which are next to each other are open to the public. You can walk your dog any time. Or take a little jog, like what many of the students at St Andrews do.
There is, however, no golf allowed on Sundays on the Old Course (except when there’s a tournament on like the Alfred Dunhill Links Championship) and it is treated as a public park. You can picnic, or kick a ball, or whatever.
By Grant Winter who covered last week’s Alfred Dunhill Links Championship in Scotland and stayed in St Andrews.